Music festivals are like New Year’s resolutions – you make tons of commitments to see/do things, and then most of them end up falling through. With over 400+ bands performing over 4 days, this is particularly true with the UMS.


While I know that I will not be able to attend every set that I RSVP’d to, there is no way I will miss any of the following performances.

Here is a list of our top 5 CAN’T-MISS sets for this weekend’s Underground Music Showcase:


Sometimes life is a total bummer. Despite your best efforts, things can fall apart for reasons outside of your control, which is what Denver math-rock quartet Confluence experienced back in October of 2014. However, after 10 month hiatus and a burst of resilience, the band makes its triumphant return to the stage this Sunday evening at 7pm at the Hi Dive. This will be Confluence’s inaugural show featuring their new guitarist Rob Verosko (of the Denver hardcore punk group Anterroir).

Wet those lips with the freshly released Confluence “Graceland” cover, which was produced by Alex Anderson of Rose Quartz, and shot/directed by Jeremy Crawley of Montoneros:



When I come around to the UMS festival grounds each year, I always think to myself, “Welcome To Paradise.” So much music, so many friends, everyone is having a blast. With over 400 artists on the bill, you are bound to see a good amount of weird/experimental stuff – but I’m coming clean here: sometimes you need some good ol’ fashioned pop-punk, and 90’s pog-rockers the Gin Doctors will scratch that itch by performing Green Day’s ‘Dookie’ in its entirety. Take the long view and make sure not to burnout before 11pm on Thursday, 7/23 @ Skylark – you would have to be some kind of chump or basket case to miss this one. EMENIUS SLEEPUS.

gin doctors


They had me at Dig Up, Stupid!, the title of their latest EP. Consisting of danceable, indie pop hooks with character and all the right Simpsons references, StaG is genuinely fun. Their worldly, offbeat rhythms recall the best Vampire Weekend moments – this will be one of the most refreshing sets of the weekend. Make sure to get to 3 Kings Tavern on Saturday 7/25 at 7pm, this will surely be a cromulent performance that embiggens even the smallest man. Listen to their latest EP here:


“That’s what I love about party rock, I get older and it stays the same.”

Seriously though, party rock tends to be kind of lame and homogenous. But goddammit – Bud Bronson does the ‘party rock’ thing so well that it’s impossible not to enjoy.

Being at a Bud Bronson show is like stepping onto the set of Fast Times At Ridgemont High – the pungent aroma of hydroponically-grown herb floods the surrounding area, beer-swilling beardos chuck half-full cans of Schlitz in the air, and the 2015 incarnation of Spicoli shouts emphatically about the best nights of our lives. For thirty glorious minutes, you will forget about the awful hangover you will have tomorrow and focus specifically on rocking and/or rolling all night with the Good Timers. 3 Kings Tavern on Friday 7/24 at 10pm – bring your best buds.


Contemporary dance music-makers tend to be criticized as “button-pushers” – pressing play on their Ableton screen, then bobbing around on stage pretending to be doing more than just turning a knob every now and then. It is a valid criticism, and some of the biggest DJs in the world have been accused of this, which leads many to believe that all dance music is contrived.

Rose Quartz is here to squash that notion, as they embody everything that’s right about modern dance music – modular synths creating unique melodies, groove-driven atmospheric layers, and a tightness that can only be experienced with real musicians performing real music in a live setting.

After transitioning from a two-piece group to a four-piece full band, Rose Quartz has a more expansive sound than ever, and is starting to get the national recognition it deserves. In the last year, the band has shared the stage with Future Islands, Matt & Kim, !!!, toured all over the country, and put out one of the best releases of the year with their ‘Axis of Love’ EP.

Check out their brand new Daytrotter session in the link below, and get some sultry synth in your life at the Outdoor Main Stage on Saturday at 5:30pm:!/concert/rose-quartz/21022212-373890481

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